'The Purge: Anarchy' is better than the original.
Last year's sleeper hit The Purge was an unusually intelligent thriller starring Ethan Hawke as a security expert whose work is challenged by villains who target him on the one night of the year when laws are suspended and people can express their violent impulses in whatever way they want.
Frank Grillo [R] in 'The Purge: Anarchy'
Set in 2022, the film says that these Purge nights have reduced crime and unemployment by ridding society of undesirables, so the fact that wealthy security-system designer Hawke and his family become the hunted adds a strong irony to the darker political themes.
Continue reading: 'The Purge: Anarchy' Launches Another Grisly Franchise
After last year's break-out hit thriller, writer-director James DeMonaco is back with the flip-side of the story, which jettisons the irony and and thematic subtlety in favour of in-your-face brutality. This time the account of a night of lawful violence is told from the opposite perspective, poor people who are targeted by sadistic rich people who are trying to cleanse their souls with a bit of grisly murder.
It's set one year later, in 2023 Los Angeles as the annual 12-hour Purge is about to begin. The idea is to cleanse society of its violent urges, but this has turned into an all-out war between heavily armed militias hired by the wealthy to capture poor people for their own homicidal entertainment. As an underground activist (Michael K. Williams) calls for a grassroots uprising, the waitress Eva (Carmen Ejogo) is just trying to get through the night alive with her teen daughter Cali (Zoe Soul). When they're attacked, an unnamed stranger (Frank Grillo) comes to their rescue, and they're soon joined by a couple (Zach Gilford and Keile Sanchez) whose car picked the wrong time and place to break down. Together, these five attempt to escape pursuit by two vicious gangs: lowlife mercenaries looking for fresh blood to sell to wealthy clients and a high-tech army bent on all-out massacre.
It's deeply contrived that these two gangs are deliberately, tenaciously and seemingly supernaturally pursuing these five people, but DeMonaco never flinches, so the audience just has to go with it. Much of the movie consists of massive nighttime street battles, but there are some more deranged interludes that hold the attention much better. At one point, they take refuge in the downtown home of one of Eva's colleagues (Justina Machado), a drunken party that is clearly spiralling out of control even before they arrived. A little later, they are dragged right into a variation on The Hunger Games. And while four of our heroes are running for their lives, Grillo's character has something more violent in mind: he's seeking revenge against the drunk driver who killed his son.
Continue reading: The Purge: Anarchy Review
'The Purge: Anarchy' opened this weekend - how does it stack up to the first film?
The Purge: Anarchy hit theaters this weekend, and it’s the sequel to last year’s monster hit, The Purge, which grossed nearly $90 million with a budget of $3 million. Its sequel, with a budget this time of $9 million, is reported as raking in around $28 million in its opening weekend - down just a tad to what the first film achieved, which was $34.1 million. The Purge: Anarchy, which contains a cast featuring Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, and Zach Gilford, follows a year after the events of the first movie on the night of the purge, where all crime is legal for 12 hours - and a couple, Shane and Liz, find themselves stranded on the streets trying to survive the night.
Frank Grillo stars in 'The Purge: Anarchy'
It’s an interesting premise that stays true to what The Purge is while branching out into its endless possibilities. The first movie, which has a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 41 on Metacritic, revolved around the events of the night taking place inside of a house. It was limited, and most critics slammed it for its predictability and lack of inventiveness, but it always seemed to be praised for its intensity and scare factor. The fact that Anarchy takes us into the world outside of the walls adds a different dimension to what we didn’t see in the first movie. Despite its potential, does The Purge: Anarchy fix its previous problems and improve on its bright points?
Continue reading: 'The Purge: Anarchy,' What's Next For The Franchise?
'The Purge: Anarchy' has scored far better reviews than it's predecessor, and director James DeMonaco appears to have learned from his mistakes.
James DeMonaco's horror flick The Purge was a modest sleeper hit for Universal Pictures in 2013, making over $80 million at the box-office on a budget of just $3 million. It wasn't groundbreaking, but if nothing else it offered a relatively original premise: for a twelve hour period in the near future, all crime in the United States is made legal.
Set one year after the original, The Purge: Anarchy focuses on couple Shane and Liz who drive to a relative's house in Los Angeles to wait out the Purge. However when their car RUNS OUT OF GAS, they are forced to flee from masked attackers.
This is the Marvel movie that divides the fans from the casual filmgoers, as the movies become more like a TV series in which the world is saved from disaster every week. While it's shot and acted to an unusually high standard, the script treats the characters like pawns to throw at each other rather than real human beings. So while it's hugely entertaining, there isn't a hint of actual tension or suspense.
Now settling into life in the 21st century, super-powered soldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his cohort Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) are horrified when the mysterious, seemingly indestructible Winter Soldier launches an attack on Shield Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) on the streets of Washington DC. Suspected of being on the wrong side, Steve and Natasha set out to find out what's up, drafting in angry veteran Sam (Anthony Mackie) and his whizzy flying-wings accessory. Meanwhile, Shield boss Pierce (Robert Redford) is carrying on with launching a wildly heavy-handed security system for America.
Marvel show-runner Kevin Feige works hard to make these movies fit loosely into the overarching mythology while standing on their own. But this is the ninth time these superheroes have had to save the world since 2008's Iron Man, and it's getting a bit tired. This chapter introduces a perviously unseen darkness in the evil agency Hydra, but the real innovation here is the use of gritty Bourne-style direction for the lucid action sequences.
Continue reading: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review
'The Purge' gets its training wheels taken off in the sequel. Are you prepared for 'Anarchy'?
Just over a year after the release of The Purge, James DeMonaco will drop the next instalment of the chilling sci-fi thriller, The Purge: Anarchy. The original bombed with critics but fared surprisingly well at the box office, making $90 million on a $3 million budget and meaning an even more terrifying sequel was given the go-ahead straight away.
The idea behind The Purge is pretty simple yet chillingly believable: once a year on "Purge Night," everything becomes legal in America, including robbery, rape and murder, for 12 hours. The back-story is that the government needed a way to control the population whilst keeping crime down and for 364.5 days a year, US citizens enjoy a utopia of zero crime and high employment.
Whilst the first movie saw Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey harbour a murderous syndicate during the purge, meaning a chilling band of killers is brought to their front door. In Anarchy, a couple are risking their safety by driving home late on the night of the purge but they think they'll just about make it.
With a powerhouse cast and an anaemic script, this violent revenge thriller never quite gets off the ground. It's watchable for the character detail, but resolutely refuses to make any logical sense as it charges through its corny plot. Fortunately the slick filmmaking and charismatic acting hold our attention, adding a hint of sophistication to the bluntly brutal story.
It's set in the Louisiana bayou, where former undercover agent Phil (Statham) is trying to have a quiet life with his young daughter (Vidovic). But the locals are wary of outsiders, and a schoolyard confrontation escalates into a feud between Phil and a resentful woman (Bosworth) who calls her gangster brother Gator (Franco) for help in getting even. Gator quickly discovers Phil's past, then enlists his trashy pal Sheryl (Ryder) to contact Phil's old enemies. But as these ruthless thugs descend on the bayou, they fail to take into consideration the fact that Phil has nearly super-human fighting skills.
There's plenty of possibility in this rather tired premise, but Stallone's boneheaded script never bothers to make things believable, skipping over key details and indulging in trite coincidences. Fleder manages to obscure this with his fluid, pacey direction, and the cast is unusually good for such a simplistic thriller. The charismatic Statham doesn't stretch himself much, occasionally attempting a bit of real acting in the father-daughter scenes (his romance with LeFevre's teacher is never developed). Bosworth and Ryder add some unpredictable edges to their stereotypical roles. And it's Franco who steals the film as an unusually thoughtful redneck thug. Although his moral quandary doesn't put off any of the nastiness.
Continue reading: Homefront Review
A strong sense of camaraderie sets this edgy police thriller apart from the crowd. And it's also a change of direction for writer-director David Ayer, who has explored the dark side of police corruption in Training Day, Harsh Times and Street Kings. But this film focusses instead on two good-guy cops just trying to do their job and have happy private lives.
On the gritty streets of Los Angeles, officers Taylor and Zavala (Gyllenhaal and Pena) continually make important arrests, which really annoys their serious-minded colleague Van Hauser (Harbour) because they're usually joking around as well. But their captain (Grillo) is slowly starting to respect their work. Meanwhile, their loyal partnership in the streets spills over into their private lives, and they lend support to each other as Taylor falls in love with Janet (Kendrick) and Zavala's wife (Martinez) gives birth to their first child. On the other hand, a Mexican cartel boss has just put a price on their heads after they busted his operation.
Ayer shoots the film like a fly-on-the-wall doc, with hand-held cameras capturing each scene. Sometimes the shaky imagery is a bit distracting since it has nothing to do with the plot, but it encourages the cast to deliver offhanded, bristly performances that build our interest during the nicely meandering first half. Then things shift drastically as a major plot kicks into gear that involves what the cops call the three food groups: drugs, money and guns.
Continue reading: End of Watch Review
Paula Patton and Frank Grillo - Paula Patton, Frank Grillo and Aviad Bernstein Tuesday 11th September 2012 2012 Toronto International Film Festival - 'Disconnect' premiere arrival at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Ottway (Neeson) works as a wolf-sniper for a petrol company in the far reaches of Alaska, but is struggling with thoughts of suicide because he misses his wife (Openshaw) so much. Then on a flight to Anchorage, the plane is hit by a severe storm and goes down in the middle of nowhere. There are a handful of survivors, and Ottway soon becomes the leader when they are menaced by howling, growling wolves. Knowing they'd be safer in the treeline, he leads five other men from one peril to another.
Continue reading: The Grey Review
After running away from home with his mother some 15 years earlier, ex-soldier Tommy (Hardy) drops in on his drunken dad Paddy (Nolte). Tommy isn't impressed that Pop has found God and remained sober for three years, but he agrees to let Pop coach him again as a mixed martial arts fighter. Meanwhile, Tommy's brother Brendan (Edgerton) is estranged from both his brother and his dad. A family man teaching physics at a Philadelphia high school, he's in trouble with the bank over a dodgy mortgage, so returns to his Ultimate Fighter roots.
Continue reading: Warrior Review